Alpacas are cute and cuddly and, don’t forget, delicious—at least that’s what some alpaca farmers in Australia want you to think.
According to a recent article by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, some of the country’s alpaca farmers are looking for ways to grow their relatively nascent industry. The animals were introduced Down Under less than three decades ago, but farmers are realizing there is only so much alpaca wool they can sell for clothing. So on top of that preexisting market, members of the Australian Alpaca Association are trying to tout the benefits of eating the cute animals. “We need an outlet to cull, otherwise you fill up your property with animals and you can't progress,” Mahlon Hotker, an alpaca farmer from western Australia, was quoted as saying.
Supporters of eating alpaca say the meat has a lot of pros: It’s low in fat and high in iron, with a taste they describe as mild and similar to veal (because everyone knows there’s no controversy around veal). Those who aren’t fully onboard with the idea, like Peter Eades, another Australian alpaca owner, compare it to eating a family member. “They're very affectionate, very friendly animals and very inquisitive animals I might add too,” Eades stated.
For their part, the Alpaca Association says they’ve made inroads during their 18-month campaign. Meanwhile, a western Australia restaurant that’s started trying to sell the meat stated, “It hasn’t caught on as much as we’d hoped.” For me, I guess it would depend. I mean, which member of my family are we talking about here?